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Scientists develop new drugs to fight colon and breast cancer more effectively

The doctoral thesis Potencial teraputico de nuevos frmacos antitumorales. Estudio sobre lneas celulares epiteliales (Therapeutic Potential of New Antitumor Drugs. A Study on Epithelial Cell Lines) has allowed for the development of six new drugs to fight colon and breast cancer more effectively than other currently used drugs. The study was conducted at the Department of Human Anatomy and Embryology at the University of Granada by Octavio Caba Prez, member of the research group "Avances en Biomedicina" (Progress in Biomedicine), under the direction of professors Antonia Arnega, Juan Antonio Marchal and Fernando Rodrguez.

The importance of this study, in which researchers from the Department of Pharmaceutical and Organic Chemistry have also collaborated, is that it enabled the identification of a total of six antitumor compounds similar to 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), one of the most widely-used drugs nowadays to fight colon and breast cancer. These compounds are more effective against malignant cells (those which are cancerous) and less toxic against benign cells (those which are unnecessarily destroyed or harmed with treatments such as chemotherapy).

As Caba Prez points out, the current method used to fight tumors produces several 'collateral damages'. A drug can be very effective against breast cancer, but it can also affect the rest of the benign epithelial tissue. As everybody knows, current treatments for cancer destroy a large number of unaffected cells in addition to affected cells, says Caba Prez.

In this study researchers analyzed more than 150 drugs aimed at reducing the toxicity of the 5-FU against the benign cells, thus avoiding the reproduction of new carcinomas or other side effects. We discarded compounds until we finally found six which have shown to be better than currently used drugs, says Caba Prez.

Research on cell lines

So far, the study has been conducted
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Contact: Octavio Caba Prez
ocaba@ugr.es
34-958-243-534
Universidad de Granada
1-Jun-2007


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